Elon Musk Dishes about the Aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 and Audi

The Ford Atlas has an all steel construction for the time being and seems to be one of the claims to fame for this “Ford Tough” heavy hauler. However, everywhere you turn you hear mention of how the 2015 Ford F-150 could be gearing up to make the switch to aluminum. That would certainly lighten the load significantly, but do F-150 drivers really want the lightened load when it comes to hauling their heavy loads? This is such a hot topic that even other automakers want to make sure to put their two cents in. Case in point, Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and you have to admit, when it comes to new car technology, he is probably one of the most important people to listen to when it comes to unconfirmed rumors.

Tesla said, “From what I’ve heard, they’re using 7000-series aluminum, which is the right step. It’s very strong and light—it’s the same alloy we use to build rockets. There are many different alloys you can use, and a lot of manufacturers use 5000-series aluminum, but 7000 is twice as strong.  It can’t be traditionally welded; it must be bonded or mechanically joined or friction welded.”

However, all that retooling that would be needed to switch from the Ford Tough Steel to Ford Tough Aluminum would require a massive investment. We’ll have to wait and see if Ford decides to make the investment.

In the meantime, Elon Musk was also questioned about other vehicles that are currently leading the way with utilizing aluminum in order to lose the weight in their go-mobiles and the Audi A8 flagship sedan was brought up. For impressive as this sedan is being hinted to be, Musk didn’t seem excited. He said, “You know, we’ve examined what they’ve done, and some of it didn’t make a lot of sense the way the parts fit together and the types of alloys used. He then took the conversation back to Ford, “I’m very curious about how Ford is going about [the new F-150]. Honestly, we may have something to learn. Our chassis is a bit heavy; it could stand to lose a little weight.”

Source Motor Trend

Author: George GIbson

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